Sometimes, luck can smile on you, even when nobody would believe it were possible. And that is particularly true in an event such as the Sanfermin Running of the Bulls. Javier Martínez de la Puente, one of the best photographers at Sanfermin.com had the luck to be a witness to one of those moments of pure reprieve that come with an air of sheer miracle about them. At the very moment of taking the snapshot, his initial thinking was to catch the moment of the goring but, to his complete surprise, no goring took place. “It was simply a case of pure luck. Nothing but pure luck. A great piece of luck for that runner “, explains Javier.
That 10th of July, 2014 was a day of debuts. It was to be the debut appearance of the Garcigrande bull-ranch in the Pamplona Running of the Bulls and it was also the first time for Javier Martínez to go with his camera to the slope on the first stretch at Santo Domingo. As the photographer himself explains it, “It is not very usual to have any kind of exceptional happening on this first slope”, but this time there was something, and indeed, something really exceptional.
A big black bull did something that nobody had expected; to run out ahead of the others and remain isolated from the rest of the pack, which left numerous runners and watchers gasping and confused. A photographer such as Javier who lives for such dramatic moments saw his chance to experience “the gift of some moments of high tension and danger”, but those in the front line would not have seen things in the same light as this bull thundered up the slope at a very fast pace. First, it charged and tossed two runners that were flung up in the air before it picked out the runner who would be the protagonist of Javier’s snapshot.
This runner suffered an almost fatal end for his carelessness in not paying sufficient attention to the bull. He was not conscious of the arrival of the two big horns until he suddenly felt the puffs of the bull on the nape of his neck. Miraculously, although he was knocked down by the bull, he did not receive the goring that seemed inevitable at that moment and no doubt the memory of that instant will stay with the runner to ensure that there will be no forthcoming distractions on his part in future Runnings of the Bulls